New York Papers Scrutinize Meeks Loan Scandal Figure

Meeks photoEdul Ahmad, the Guyanese-born businessman who made an unsecured $40,000 loan to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), is today scrutinized by the New York Times and New York Post. Reporters started digging on Meeks after NLPC raised questions about the Queens congressman’s finances, beginning in January.

According to the New York Times piece by Danny Hakim:

The generous terms of the loan have raised questions about Mr. Ahmad and his political relationships. New details about Mr. Ahmad’s past emerged after The New York Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the New York Department of State, which investigates improprieties by licensed real estate brokers. Mr. Ahmad has been the defendant in five cases investigated by the department involving allegations of fraud and predatory lending.

From the same Times article:

State records lay out a variety of allegations against Mr. Ahmad. In one case he was accused of

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‘Struggling’ Businessman Gave Rep. Meeks $40K Loan

Meeks photoAt the same time that Guyanese-born businessman Edul Ahmad gave Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) an unsecured $40,000 personal loan, he was pleading poverty to state authorities who had suspended his real estate license, according to Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein in yesterday’s New York Post.

Meeks failed to report the 2007 loan on his annual financial disclosure report, that all member of Congress are required to file, until June of this year after the FBI reportedly started asking questions about the loan. Meeks has repeatedly referred to Ahmad as his “friend,” but when asked by the New York Post last month what his relationship was with Meeks, Ahmad said, “I have none.”

Yesterday’s Post story paints a picture of Ahmad as a “shady” operator, with real estate dealings in Queens, and a variety of other businesses. According to the Post:

Ahmad lives the high life in a McMansion

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Ex-Rep. Eric Massa Continues to Loot Campaign Fund

Massa photoBrian Tumulty of Gannett reports that former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) put his wife on his campaign payroll after he resigned from Congress and after he ceased to be a candidate for re-election. According to Massa’s quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Beverly Massa received $34,214 for April through June for serving as campaign treasurer, even though she was not paid for previously serving in the position.

Tumulty also reports that Massa paid for airfare, hotels, and meals at restaurants like Morton’s out of the campaign fund. Massa’s continued looting of leftover campaign funds is baffling given the scrutiny he is already under.  As Tumulty reports:

The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed a complaint in April because Massa’s campaign committee paid $31,896 to GMAC for a leased vehicle two days before Massa announced he would not seek re-election.

Massa purchased the vehicle

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CNBC: Punish BP Shareholders?

Today I discussed BP’s capping of the well and whether BP shareholders should be punished with Dan Weiss of the Center for American Progress, and CNBC hosts Larry Kudlow and Trish Regan. Here is a transcript:

Larry Kudlow:  All right, President Obama speaking out on BP’s latest attempt to stop its oil leak, adding that the problem would not be fully resolved until relief wells have been completed.  Now BP says it is encouraged by early tests that show it has stopped the flow.  Two hundred million gallons have spilled into the Gulf.  In our viewer outrage segment, Andy from Florida says, BP knew that they had problems and still drilled.  I want to see people go to jail.  People should be selling their stock, not buying.  So we ask, should BP shareholders be punished for BP’s actions?  Joining us now, is Peter Flaherty, President of National Legal and … Read More ➡

Goldman Sachs Got Off Easy

Lloyd Blankfein photoGoldman got to keep 100% of what it really wanted, namely the ability to cling to its claim that if did nothing wrong. 

It did acknowledge a “mistake” for not telling CDO buyers that hedge fund operator John Paulson helped booby-trap the security before it was sold. It is common for the SEC settle Wall Street cases without an admission of guilt, but is not typical for it to allow the accused party to do but at the same time admit to a “mistake.” That’s how it works when your political influence permeates the government. You get to deny wrongdoing at the same time you admit to wrongdoing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ballyhoos that the $550 million settlement is the largest ever, but is likely viewed by Goldman as the cost of doing business. Goldman will pay the fine and move on.

In this case, Lloyd Blankfein and … Read More ➡

Scott Brown Sells Out

Scott Brown photoOn the evening of Scott Brown’s election, I wrote that among the reasons for his victory was resentment of “a host of actions to prop up Wall Street firms at the expense of taxpayers.”

Who would have thought that less than six months later Brown would cast the decisive vote in favor of legislation that institutionalizes Wall Street bailouts, and whose sponsors — Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank — played key roles in bringing on the meltdown, not to mention representing everything that is sleazy and corrupt about Washington. If Brown wasn’t running against Barney Frank when he railed against the “machine,” then what was he talking about?

I can only assume that even though Brown knew how to ride the wave that swept him into office, he now fails to understand it. He seems to have reverted to the traditional strategy of “moderate” Republicans in Massachusetts, which is to … Read More ➡

Meeks Defends Secret Loans, Blames NLPC for Controversy

Meeks photoOn Saturday, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) made the following statement:

Beginning at the height of the selection process for Aqueduct Racino development investors as I fought for local participation, and for the past several months, right-wing interest groups such as the National Legal and Policy Center and sensationalist media outlets have lodged unfounded attacks against me and other respectable members of the Queens community related to my family home and my involvement with New Direction Local Development Corporation.

While speaking out against these baseless allegations, I felt it was important to confirm that I have been in full compliance with the House of Representatives’ financial disclosure requirements.

Accordingly, prior to the May 17, 2010 filing deadline, I requested a one month extension, until June 16, 2010, to file my 2009 House of Representatives financial disclosure statement so that I could undertake an extremely thorough review of my finances and previous

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Testy Meeks Disclosed Loan Only After FBI Inquiry

Meeks photoAccording to the New York Daily News today:

Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks made no payments for three years on a secret $40,000 personal loan – and repaid the cash only when the FBI started asking questions…

Meeks received a check for $40,000 from Queens businessman Ed Ahmad in January 2007 to finish paying off his new $830,000 home, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Meeks first disclosed the loan on his financial disclosure report that all members of Congress were required to file by May 17 for the preceding 2009 calendar year. Meeks filed late on June 15. Click here to download a 5-page pdf of the report. The Ahmad loan was made in 2007, meaning Meeks failed to disclose it on his 2007 and 2008 forms.

Meeks then filed two letter “amendments,” both dated June 18, but filed separately on June 21 and 23. Both state that … Read More ➡

What is Rep. Gregory Meeks Hiding?

Meeks photoRep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) is one of 31 House conferees appointed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on the financial regulation bill. When he was named on June 9, Meeks claimed:

As conferee I plan to make sure that by having a strong presence of financial oversight and accountability in this legislation U.S. consumers will have the necessary financial protection and be as financially informed as possible.

But now Meeks is using “oversight” in a different context. You see, when he failed to disclose $55,000 in personal loans as required, he called it an “oversight.” This excuse sounded downright familiar to us. It is the same one cited by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) when he failed to report hundreds of thousands in income and assets.

According to Greg B. Smith in the New York Daily News:

Sources familiar with the matter say the loans are related to an $830,000 home

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NLPC’s Horowitz is Featured Expert on American Greed’s ‘Mob Money’ on CNBC Tonight

Horowitz/Mob Money photoDr. Carl Horowitz, director of NLPC’s Organized Labor Accountability Project, is a featured expert on CNBC’s “Mob Money,” a special presentation of “American Greed,” narrated by Stacy Keach. The program premieres tonight at 9PM ET.

I’ve previewed an advance copy of the program and it lives up to its billing. The show performs a real public service by highlighting the relationship between corrupt labor unions and organized crime. Carl provides commentary as the publisher of our newsletter Union Corruption Update, published on line and twice monthly in print.

Carl even appears in the trailers for the program:

According to CNBC, the program:

… takes viewers inside the inner-workings of a mob family. From loan-sharking and labor racketeering to illegal gambling and murder for hire to its recent invasion into Wall Street it’s all part of the life and death business of organized crime.

The one-hour program chronicles the rise

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